Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan

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Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan
مقبرہ علی مردان خان
Ali Mardan Tomb from Main Gate.jpg
View of the tomb from the gateway
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General information
TypeMausoleum
Architectural style Mughal
Location Lahore, Punjab Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan
Coordinates 31°34′26″N74°21′48″E / 31.5738°N 74.3633°E / 31.5738; 74.3633 Coordinates: 31°34′26″N74°21′48″E / 31.5738°N 74.3633°E / 31.5738; 74.3633
Completed1630s
A view from the roof, with the gateway A view from the roof of Ali Mardan Khan's Tomb, Lahore..JPG
A view from the roof, with the gateway

The Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan (Urdu:مقبرہ علی مردان خان) is a Mughal era tomb in the city of Lahore, Pakistan that was built in the 1630s. [1]

Contents

Background

Ali Mardan Khan was a Kurd who first worked in the court of the Persian Safavid ruler Shah Safi, before moving to the Mughal court. [2] The tomb is of octagonal plan. [3]

He was experienced in the management of engineering works, especially the construction of canals, and worked on many large projects in the Mughal territories in modern Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was appointed as the governor of Kashmir, Lahore and Kabul, then of the Punjab in 1639. Khan died in 1657 while going to Kashmir. [3]

Though Khan was an engineer and courtier, he has come to be locally regarded as a notable spiritual figure, and locals call the tomb Mardan Khan's durbar (shrine). The grave is in a chamber below ground level, accessed by stairs, and has been decorated by visitors as though it were a saint's shrine. [3]

Architecture

The corners of the tombs once all had small domes. Central Dome of the Tomb with two small domes - Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan.jpg
The corners of the tombs once all had small domes.

The tomb is now in a semi-ruined state, lacking its decorations, though the main structure is intact. This is in brick with a dome of 42 feet (13 m) in diameter above an octagonal drum with iwans on each side. There are kiosks around the top of the drum. The tomb stands on an octagonal podium, with each side 58 feet (18 m) at the edge. It would have been originally decorated with stone facings and inlays (kashi kari), and fresco paintings, some traces of which remain on the tomb. The two storey gatehouse has retained much more of its decoration; originally there were perhaps four gateways. The tomb would have stood in the centre of a paradise garden as other Mughal tombs do. [3]

Conservation

The tomb is surrounded by railway property, and located in Mughalpura road (which was earlier known as Vetman Road or Wheatman Road) which is from right from the Grand Trunk Road. [3] Near the railway track on the road is a sign board where "MET-1" is written, beyond which lies the gate through which people can access the tomb, through a passageway. [3]

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References

  1. Rapson, Edward James; Haig, Sir Wolseley; Burn, Sir Richard (1958). The Cambridge History of India. CUP Archive. p. 561. GGKEY:96PECZLGTT6.
  2. Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1980). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition: Supplement. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 62. ISBN   90-04-06167-3.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ali, Aown (29 January 2011). "The forgotten gardener". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 12 April 2015.